FAQ for Businesses During Stay at Home Order


How does the City’s emergency order differ from the Governor’s?  As of May 4, 2020, the City’s emergency order references and fully incorporates the Governor’s orders and guidance, and no longer contains more strict provisions. This means that the Governor’s orders and the City’s are the same, and the state guidance must be followed in Portland.

The City does continue to have a few additional provisions in its order that the public should be aware of, including additional restrictions on off-leash dogs and the continuation of the Affordable Rental Housing Incentive Program.

How can I find out what the state’s requirements are for my business?

The Governor has a webpage dedicated to COVID-19 resources, including the Governor’s Reopening Plan, which can be found here:  https://www.maine.gov/covid19/, and all of her COVID-19 executive orders can be found here:  https://www.maine.gov/governor/mills/official_documents

Maine DECD has been tasked with creating much of the guidance for business operations, and that guidance can be found here:  https://www.maine.gov/decd/home

Finally, Maine BABLO is managing requirements around restaurants and bars and their guidance can be found here:  https://www.maine.gov/dafs/bablo/

What are the additional restrictions on off-leash dogs in Portland?  In addition to the existing leash requirements, all dogs must be on leash between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. when on publicy owned or publicly accessible property.  This does not apply to the City dog parks on Ocean Avenue or Valley Street.

What is the Affordable Rental Housing Incentive Program?  The Affordable Rental Housing Incentive Program provides a one-time $1,000 incentive payment to any current holder of a non-owner-occupied short term rental registration who 1) gives up that registration; 2) registers the unit as a long term rental; and 3) enters into a one-year lease agreement with a tenant who will receive Section 8 or GA funds for that unit.

If I participate in the Affordable Rental Housing Incentive Program and give up my short term registration, can I get it back the next year?  If you give up your non-owner-occupied short term rental registration for a unit, you can apply for another short term rental registration the following year, but will be subject to the 400 unit cap and might need to go on the waitlist.

How long is Portland’s emergency order in effect?  The emergency order is now in effect through June 1, 2020.

Who can I contact if I have questions?

For questions relating to construction activities, please contact the Permitting & Inspections Department at 207-874-8703 or permitting@portlandmaine.gov

For questions relating to liquor or food licensees, contact Business Licensing at 207-874-8557 or bl@portlandmaine.gov

For general questions, please call 207-874-8300 or email info@portlandmaine.gov

For questions relating to the Affordable Rental Housing Incentive Program, contact Housing Safety at 207-756-8131 or email housingsafety@portlandmaine.gov or contact the Housing and Community Development Division at 207-482-5028 or vvolent@portlandmaine.gov.

How can I report a violation?  You can report violations of individuals to the Police Department by calling 207-874-8479 or send an email to:  info@portlandmaine.gov. For violations of businesses, please contact 207-874-8557 or bl@portlandmaine.gov 

What happens if I don’t follow the state or City orders?  If you are caught violating the State order, you could be charged with a Class E crime, which comes with up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 in civil penalties. If you are caught violating the City order, you could be subject to a $500 civil penalty and costs of prosecution, and the suspension or revocation of your City business license. Many prohibited activities are violations of both the state and City orders.